Avalon’s First Oracle Visit
- AUTHORS: xJAYMANx & Agentcoopersgirl (as Avalon)
- TITLE: Avalon’s First Oracle Visit
- CATEGORY: Drama, AU, OC, RWF
- RATING: PG
- SUMMARY: Year 097 AZ. The odd yet soothing aroma of cigarette smoke and cookie dough fills the air…
- AUTHOR’S OPENING NOTES:
- Created 12 January 2004 and completed 08 February 2004. Based on concepts by Larry & Andy Wachowski.
Avalon’s First Oracle Visit
KITCHEN / ORACLE:
ORACLE is already sitting at the small round kitchen table. On the table is an ashtray, a half-filled wineglass, and a magazine. She is leisurely flipping a green-tinged page. The odd yet soothing aroma of cigarette smoke and cookie dough fills the air. And a slow oldies tune fills AVALON’s ears.
AVALON looks around the small room, her eyes darting back to the motherly figure at the table.
So this is the purveyor of destinies, AVALON thinks, Mmm… I wonder what kind of cookies those are.”
AVALON smiles sweetly, and says, “Hello.”
ORACLE looks up from her magazine, and takes off her spectacles with a wide warm smile.
ORACLE replies politely, “Hello to you… Avalon, right?”
“Yes, ma’am. How are you today?” AVALON says, hoping that politeness will get her a better future.
“Something in here smells mighty good.”
AVALON scratches her arm, and waits to be offered a seat and maybe some comforting news for her future.
ORACLE smiles even wider, “I’m fine, quite fine… Thank you for asking.”
ORACLE closes her magazine and slides it over to the side.
“You’re a bright and sunny one. I like that… Good qualities in a doctor… Care to sit?”
AVALON squeaks noticeably into the offered chair, relieved to be off her spike-heeled feet. Looking at the slightly shabby decor, she feels surprisingly at ease with the soothsayer.
“You aren’t quite what I expected, ma’am. The way everyone was going on, I was expecting some kind of chicken sacrifice to be involved.”
AVALON smiled, “So, anything good for me?”
ORACLE chuckles, “With a sense of humor too… Chicken sacrifice, that’s a good one.”
Between two fingers, ORACLE plucks the cigarette from the ashtray, brings it to her lips, and takes a puff.
“No, it seems I’m not quite what anyone expects… Like falling in love for the first time… It’s there, but it’s not quite what you expect it to be…”
ORACLE focusses her smiling and twinkling gaze on AVALON, and oddly, her smile fades as if a black cloud had passed before her.
“What do you expect here… from our quiet little meeting?… Do you know why Kan-chiang brought you here?”
AVALON smirks slightly. “Kan-chiang, God love that man, is not exactly one for direct statements. It seems that everyone comes to you looking for direction in their life. I am here out of a deep sense of curiousity, however.”
AVALON laughs in a self mocking manner, “Well, that, and Kan-chiang made me come.”
AVALON leans forward, squeaking again, and places her face in her palms.
“Does being a bit of a skeptic disqualify me from a good future?”
ORACLE gently shakes her head.
“No, it doesn’t… But it doesn’t disqualify you from a bad future either…”
ORACLE leans back and takes another puff from her cigarette.
“But what does a ‘good’ future mean?… Does it mean sacrificing your life so that others have a chance to live?… Does it mean your friends sacrificing their lives so that you have a chance to live?… It’s a pickle, no doubt about it…”
ORACLE turns her dark eyes upon the young redhead, as if burning her stare into the young soul.
“I can’t create the future for you, Avalon, any more than a weatherman can create the weather… and I can’t say whether it’s good or bad any more than the rain is good or bad for the farmer or businessman or the school children walking down the street… I can only tell you to bring a raincoat or umbrella… But whether you put on that raincoat or open that umbrella or leave them in the closet, is really up to you…”
With another puff of smoke, ORACLE sighs.
“I can tell you this… Kan-chiang brought you here to help you find your path… What he doesn’t know is that his own path is coming to a close…”
A frown crosses AVALON’s face. She was very grateful to KAN-CHIANG for taking her on his ship, but she had a tendency to mother those she cared for.
“What do you mean? Does he know this?”
Damn it. How do you tell someone they are about to die? AVALON thought. Or do you.
Over the ashtray, ORACLE taps the ashes off the end of her cigarette. A barely noticeable smile curls a corner of her lips.
“Kan-chiang seems to have this relationship with secrets… You know, his ability to hack security systems, to analyze and decode secrets… This probably explains his tendency to be an enigma, to be a secret himself…”
ORACLE gazes up at the bright kitchen window and gently nods.
“He’s probably figured it out on some level… probably even made his peace with it…”
ORACLE returns her thoughtful eyes to AVALON.
“As for you… The loss will drown your spirit… The guilt will drown your soul…”
ORACLE pauses to take another puff.
“But you can either let the current drown your heart… or you can follow its course to your future, the future that is meant for you… When the time comes, you will make that decision… When the time comes, will you face the thunderstorm or stay at home?”
“I’m sweet, but not made of sugar. I won’t melt in the rain.”
AVALON looks down at the table, thoughtfully, for a second, and then looks into the ORACLE’s eyes.
“I’m gonna have to try to tell him, and I guess I’m just gonna have to see how accurate a weatherman you really are.”
ORACLE gazes upon AVALON as if the young woman was a little red-haired girl who just heard for the first time, but didn’t want to believe, that Santa Claus wasn’t real.
“I know you are… It’s your choice… But will telling him really help you?… You see, your visit isn’t about Kan-chiang or anybody else… It’s about you…” (ORACLE gestures at AVALON) “…and what you will do… about you.”
ORACLE sighs and rests her cigarette in the ashtray.
“I’m sorry, I suddenly feel very tired…” (ORACLE gently smiles) “…You know, so many cookies to bake, so little time…” (ORACLE chuckles and gingerly rises) “…Maybe I’ll take a nap… But before I do…”
ORACLE picks up the yellow cookie jar from the counter, removes the top, and with another warm motherly smile, offers the jar to AVALON.
“Here, take a cookie… They’re peanut butter, if you’re wondering.”
“That’s what I thought. Thanks,” AVALON says, taking the cookie and smiling softly. “And thank you for your time. I’ll… ponder what you said.”
AVALON stands up, shaking her head, slightly. What the hell was the point of telling me about the captain, she thought, If I can’t do anything about it?
AVALON turns to leave and takes a bite out of her cookie. She looks over her shoulder at the ORACLE, smiling, and says, “Damn fine cookie.”
“Thanks, kiddo… In no time, you’ll feel much better about facing the day…”
As if reading AVALON’s skeptical thoughts, ORACLE offers one last bit of smiling advice.
“Because sometimes, facing the things you can’t change is more important than facing the things you can.”
ORACLE turns to put down the cookie jar down on the table.
“Tell Kan-chiang I said ‘Hi’…”
ORACLE smiles widely as AVALON leaves.
AVALON walks out into the sitting room, her vinyl-covered legs squeaking, thinking about what she was told.
“Gee, thanks. This is why I don’t venture out of my little shell more often.”
AVALON smiles sadly at KAN-CHIANG. She opens her mouth to speak, but it is dry. Clearing her throat, she says, “That’s it. She says ‘Hi,’ by the way.”
SITTING ROOM / KAN-CHIANG:
KAN-CHIANG rises from the sofa, and nods in acknowledgment. In his black raincoat and dark glasses, he accompanies AVALON to the front door.
Despite having seen the entire spectrum of first-visit reactions — from clear reverence and admiration, to utter disbelief and confusion, to foolish indifference and even insolence — KAN-CHIANG nevertheless respects the reaction as part of the path, and prepares for AVALON the same words he offered to JAYMAN and then CRYSTAL.
“Meditate on what you have heard today,” KAN-CHIANG instructs in his slight accent. “Her words are like huge stones in the ground before you. There may be many or there may be few. But whether they are facts, truths, half-truths, or lies, do not focus on the stones. Instead, pay attention to the path in which the stones direct you…”
KAN-CHIANG steps through the open doorway.
“Or you may never find your way.”